This is a sample of the book I am writing, I’m not going to tell you where it is in the book, but I will tell you this: It’s only on page 16.
A lot of people read my subprofile, and they read it often. My core group of friends took up for me. After the first bout from Captain Planet, I saw comments from friends saying things like “don’t kick a man when he’s down, that’s not cool”. Upon reading that, something happened, I didn’t feel sad or sorry for myself anymore. I was no longer depressed . I finally realized and loathed the fact that anyone looking at me at that time in my life felt pity for me and thought I was pathetic.
Within an hour, my whole subprofile was changed. Instead of being a coward, and shying away from the main problem, like I had been for a long time, I embraced it. I took advantage of it. I was going to come out on top. Why am I forcing people to feel sorry for me? Did I actually enjoy getting stabbing glances from the eyes of the people I had known and come to value as a friend? No. My depression and loneliness, my drinking problem, and my hatred toward others was my doing. No one talked me into it, no one poured my drinks for me, no one tapped the “ignore” button on my cell phone when friends called to offer help – I did it.
Then I left all of Captain Planets accusations about me on my subprofile. The one where he described (in vivid detail) me performing sexual favors on another man behind a 7-11. The one where he accused me of driving by Vicky’s house every weekend to see if she was home or not; never mind the fact that she shared a neighborhood with a lot of people from school whom I was still very good friends with. The fact that she lived near the most convenient entrance for me, and that where I was going was about two miles past her house was merely a coincidence. He accused me of getting crazier by the day. Looking back on it now, it’s kind of ironic. Instead of becoming more unstable, I began to think clearer with each passing moment. He tried to show everyone that I was weak, while I was growing stronger.
The one thing I could have handled a lot better was the response to his last comment. Things had gotten so out of hand while he and I were exchanging insults through the glow of our computer monitors, that I apparently stepped over the line of comfortability for the school. I don’t know if it was accidental, or on purpose, either way though, I had written myself into a corner. There was nowhere to go. Inadvertently, I had stepped out from underneath the umbrella of protection I had with the law and with my family.
One day, I came home from school and read Captain Planets latest entry. This time he really dug in deep and tried to expose me as bat-shit insane. By him, I was deemed demented, schizophrenic, delusional, obsessed, and determined to “shoot up the school like columbine”. What I wrote next, I am not proud of now. As emotionless as I had gotten on that first night of taking more control of my life, my frustration for, and exhaustion of this “Captain Planet” retard, my anger level was at a maximum. How could I shut this guy up, and get him to just leave me the hell alone? Kill him with kindness, I initially thought. Nah, that didn’t agree with my new ego, OR my newfound persona. So I pushed myself back from the monitor, and contemplated what I was going to say next. What do my now eleven-hundred-plus readers per day want to see? How could I make it as funny as possible? Will this guy ever get off my back? Later on that night those questions didn’t matter anymore. I wanted to get back to my pre-Vicky life.
I missed going to parties. Even if I didn’t show up, I still knew about and got invited to more than I could handle. I missed Doug calling me up to get together and play videogames. I missed going to Jon’s basement, and playing pool with Chris, Peter, Andrew, and the other dozen guys there on Friday nights. I missed being accepted into the crowd at football games, then topping the night off with a 45 minute drive to Hooter’s for the best chicken sandwich in the world. “My God..” I thought. “How did I get HERE?!” You win Captain Planet, I’m just going to publicly agree with you, swallow really hard and let that gigantic slab of pride inch down my throat.
I finally knew what I was going to say: “So what if I’ve missed a couple of days of school.” Which was true. I’ve pretty much been a nerd all my life, right down to the allergies and susceptibility to minor illnesses. So I had missed a few days of school, as our friend Captain Planet so accurately pointed out. I continued: “You know, sometimes I have to take a day or two off to straighten out the kinks in my Columbine plan.” I don’t know if you know this, but sarcasm is not translated through language barriers, and typing it out on the internet for everyone to see (as I was about to find out) pretty much follows the same guidelines.
The next day, I had planned to skip school anyways. Not to work on some devious plan, or to bring harm to anyone, or to myself. The only reason was because that we had a discussion in English class on the book we had been reading. Everyone had to contribute a certain number of times to get a passing grade for that discussion. It’s a very active, very good way to learn literature. The only problem was that I hadn’t read the book. And I knew that if I could talk my parents into giving me a note to get me an excused absence, I could write a two page summary of the book, and the teacher would use that as a replacement grade. For someone like me, that was a no-brainer. So I sat at home. I had my mom called the school when she went to work. It took me 45 minutes to come up with a summary, and the rest of the school day I spent sitting on my bed, writing in my journal. And drinking, I drank a little bit too. Most of the time I wrote, I was at least tipsy.
There were a lot of things going through my mind in the months leading up to that day. Sure, ridiculing someone who has it out for you online was fun. Especially when it made your friends laugh. But my most personal thoughts and feelings, were most comfortably expressed in the pages of my composition notebook. I didn’t consider anything I wrote bad, or harmful. If anything I though it was healthy – I felt better afterwards, and I didn’t have to burden anyone with my problems. That day, I began to feel like I used to feel, before any of this happened. Which deep down, was what I really wanted the most. Little did I know how much shit was about to hit the fan.
I woke up the next day, Friday, and I was very excited. I was ready to face the world and everyone in it. I would look them in the eye and give them the finger if I had to. I ate a nice, big breakfast, watched whatever was on T.V. at 6 A.M. to kill time, then caught the bus to school. I had first period with Vicky, and hadn’t even made eye contact with her for about two months. Until that day, I felt sorry about that – like she had had the upper-hand. But after an entire afternoon of writing in my journal, I felt as if I were in control. Finally! I was in the better position. I didn’t have to hang my head over my desk in shame – because my hand was the one on top. I felt so good, that right before I left the house that morning, I put my personal journal, my sanity preserver, in my back-pack. How would my teachers know if I wasn’t paying attention? I was always an above-average student, it was the middle of senior year, and as far as they were concerned, I was writing stuff down, so it was probably notes on their lecture.
We had just gotten done saying the Pledge of Allegiance and having our moment of silence. One of the security guards was holding up a thick stack of papers freshly printed off of the computer, and whispering behind it to my teacher at the front of the classroom. I didn’t think anything of it. Then the teacher stretched out his arm, extended his pointer finger, glanced around for a second, and his wrist snapped up like a whip. When the muscles in his hand flexed, his finger was pointing directly at me. “In the corner.” I saw his mouth say. With a nod the security guard walked to the back of the classroom and gave me the “come hither” finger motion accompanied by the ‘stink-eye’; Classic.
“Okay” I thought. The only thing running through my mind was trying to figure out how many days of school I had missed. Did I over step my limit? “Damn it, my grades are going to drop if I have missed more than five days. Oh well I can pick them back up.” In Prince William County, the schools are big. They had to accommodate three-thousand plus students. So say if you had to walk from the history classes in the back, to the principles, or security offices in the front, you were going to be walking for a while. Add the amount of guilt you had to lug with you, and being escorted by a big, intimidating, silent security officer (who used to be one of Prince William County’s finest), and the relatively short walk seemed like it was the mile on death row. In what seemed like an hour, he spoke two sentences to me. “Why did you miss school yesterday?” he said. I turned my head to the side so he could hear me, as he was walking behind me, “Doctor’s Appointment.” I lied. That’s what was on my excusal note, so that’s what I told him. I let a moment pass to let the excuse seep into the officer’s brain. “What’s this all about?” I asked, realizing I had never been pulled to the principle’s office over the attendance policy. Everyone thought of Mr. Dalleck, our principle, as an elitest, pompous, self-righteous prick. Even his peers thought so. But he never singled an IB student out for mundane misbehaviors. We were at the top of our class, the pride of the school, most of the time we were “untouchable”. “You’ll find out soon.” The officer muttered, as he pointed around the corner, directing me to the office via the quickest route. “Is the suspect in your custody?” I heard crackle from the walkie-talkie that hung from his belt. As I glanced back with a puzzled look on my face, I saw him switch it off. Then he used the same hand to point straight ahead and simultaneously tilt his chin down so his eyes could burn a straight path to the big glass administration office doors, now thirty yards in front of us. “Suspect? Custody?” I whispered to myself, then immediately shook my head and tried to convince myself that I wasn’t the suspect they were talking about. I just missed a few days of school. I’m probably going to have a talk with Mr. Soupon, about how serious I am concerning my future.